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Dani Countryman
The Victim of Illegal Alien Crime – Dani Countryman
by Carolyn Cooke

Oregon - Dani Countryman
Fifteen-year-old Dani Countryman became the prey of two illegal alien cousins – one attempted to rape her and when she screamed in terror, the other stepped on her throat until she was no longer breathing.

In the summer of 2007, Dani Countryman was a 15-year-old teenager with a warm and engaging demeanor – a facade that masked the fear and worries of the fragile child who had endured too many hardships in her short life.

During the past year alone, Dani had been dealing with her grandmother’s battle against colon cancer, her father’s attempt to

have Dani take the fall for his possession of crack, his subsequent return to jail on drug charges, and the August trial of a man accused of sexually abusing her when she was 12 years old.

However, the turbulent events of Dani’s past were not a predictor of her future. Dani was resilient and according to her family, she was getting her life back on track, ready to return to high school for her freshman year. Dani had been in a tailspin over her grandmothers’ illness. Dani’s grandmother, Sandra Wright, had raised Dani and provided her with a home and stability. Dani was terrified of losing her. Now Dani was ready to take care of Sandra through her rounds of chemotherapy and the complications that ensued. Dani hoped to start a support group for other troubled teens with her brother, Jeremy. The two siblings were determined to make something positive out of their terrible childhoods.

Taking a break from trials she was facing at home, Dani spent a month in Oregon in the summer of 2007, visiting her 20-year-old sister Ashley and attending the wedding of another family member. She stayed with family at a rented beach house in Lincoln City. The sisters had not seen each other in two years and their reunion was a happy one. Dani and Ashley spent time picnicking and chilling out along the banks of the Clackamas River, enjoying the beauty of summertime in the Northwest. Dani enjoyed relaxing in a part of the country far removed from Kaufman, Texas. She also met for the first time and fell in love with Tessa, Ashley’s 17-month-old daughter.

Dani’s month-long vacation was winding down. Dani and Ashley attended at party at the Balboa Apartments in Milwaukie, Oregon, a quaint suburb of Portland. Ashley’s boyfriend lived in one of the apartments. Ashley left Dani watching movies with other teens, believing her to be safe when she retired for the night.

During the early morning hours of July 28th, this sweet, vulnerable girl became the prey of two cousins, illegal aliens Gilberto Rivera-Gamboa, 22 years old, and Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa, 23 years old. Witnesses at the party said the Mexicans had been behaving in a vulgar manner to other women at the party the night before, but Ashley did not see them bothering her little sister.

Dani Countryman spent the last moments of her young life screaming in terror and begging for help during an attempted rape and sexual assault. Gilberto Rivera-Gamboa was on top of Dani on the floor of his apartment at the Balboa. He had her pants down and was attempting to rape her. Tiny Dani, 5 feet tall and weighing 95 pounds, struggled against her would-be rapist. DNA evidence found under Dani’s fingernails (from scratching her assailants) would prove critical in proving the guilt of the two foreign nationals. Gilberto, asked his cousin, Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa, to “shut her up.” The 5 foot, 10 inch, 180 pound illegal alien crushed her windpipe by standing on her neck until she was no longer breathing. The bottom of Alejandro’s bloody shoe would match the imprint on Dani’s chest.

“I thought she was sleeping, and when I pulled the blanket over her head, she wasn’t sleeping,” Ashley said, “She was cold. She was very cold.”

Ashley found Dani’s lifeless body in the apartment where Dani was supposed to be sleeping, three hours after the last time they had spoken. Ashley stated, “Whoever did this had the guts to carry her body back in there, pull a blanket off somebody and pull it over her and lay her in there with everyone else inside.”

A witness reported hearing a disturbance, followed by yells of “Callate! Callate!” (Spanish for “shut up”). She recalled seeing two Hispanic men coming around a corner from behind the apartment, carrying what appeared to be a body.

Dani Countyman was murdered on the day she was scheduled to return home to Texas.

Dani was in so many ways a typical teenage girl. She loved MySpace, clothes and shopping. Her favorite song was Fergie’s rendition of “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Dani loved animals and her mother envisioned her becoming a veterinarian.

Jeri Lea Countryman, Dani’s mother said, “There was no one who met her who didn’t like her. She was beautiful inside and out.”

On the Thursday before her death, Dani called her grandmother to read a letter she had written to her. Dani said she had trouble

dealing with her Sandra’s hair loss (from chemotherapy), but she“felt like she needed to grow up and give me the support I deserve and need.” Sandra said it “was one of those letters you cherish for the rest of your life”.

Dani’s funeral was held on August 4th and over 700 people attended the service at the Kaufman First Assembly of God Church. They were packed into the church, standing along the walls after every seat had been taken. Jeremy, 21 years old, was one of the pall bearers. He remarked that Dani had “always wanted her family and friends to be closer.” Dani’s death brought them together in mourning.

Court records documented that Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa was in the country illegally. During his second arrest for DUI in September of 2006, Alejandro signed a statement disclosing he was in the United States illegally. Clackamas County officials, including his probation officer, never once reported his immigration status to Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE). After his second offense, he served a 15 day jail sentence and a probationary period of two years. His drivers’ license was suspended for three years.

Dani’s death changed the reporting of illegal aliens arrested in Clackamas County, Oregon. Now District Attorney reports all foreign nationals caught breaking the law to ICE officials.

The Obama administration has suspended the reporting of illegal aliens committing misdemeanors to ICE under the 287(g). Dani’s death and many, many others demonstrate that all Immigration laws must be enforced before these terrible assaults and murders occur and all foreign nationals should be detained and reported, especially when breaking any law. No American lives need be lost if all elected officials carried out their duties protecting the citizens they serve.

Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa, 26, was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 35 years. He earlier pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and the abuse of a corpse.

Gilberto Rivera-Gamboa, 25, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree sexual abuse and hindering prosecution. He will serve five years, 10 months in prison.

They will be deported to Mexico after they have served their sentences. However, open borders will not hinder their return to the United States.

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